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Laguna Beach

 Volume 12, Issue 64  |  August 11, 2020


The COVID-19 pandemic emergency – this is not a joke

By Henri Colt, MD

To my dismay, in the past two days, I have seen hundreds of people gathering in close proximity in public spaces such as basketball courts, the high school track, the walking path to Heisler Park, Main Beach, and downtown village streets, despite the statewide and national request to practice social distancing.

As a doctor and professor of pulmonary medicine, now busy helping coordinate and lead certain global COVID-19 research efforts, and monitoring the exchange of information from almost 6,000 lung specialists from sixty countries on social media, I am privy to the disastrous consequences of COVID-19 infection and disease on patients, health care workers, and hospital resources.

I am saddened that the Laguna Beach City Council, Mayor, and protective services such as the Police Department are unable to pass urgent legislation or implement actions that strongly prohibit, or at the very least, minimize such risk-taking behaviors.

In May 2017, the City Council voted to expand a smoking ban already in place for beaches and parks. We became the first in California to ban smoking throughout the city, including on sidewalks, bike paths, alleys, and parking structures. The only places people are allowed to smoke are inside homes and cars.

So, what are we waiting for now?

The COVID-19 pandemic is not a joke. While most of us who become infected or ill with Coronavirus will do well and survive, some will not, and those who require hospitalization will sadly contribute to the overburdening of our health care resources.

Let’s do everything we can to stay safe, stay healthy, and to make sure our health care providers can do their jobs.

Dear Mayor and City Council, you need to do yours.

Most respectfully,

Henri Colt, MD


Shaena Stabler is the Owner, Publisher & Editor.

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Alexis Amaradio, Barbara Diamond, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Marrie Stone, Maggi Henrikson, Samantha Washer, Stacia Stabler and Suzie Harrison are our writers and/or columnists. Scott Brashier is our photographer.

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